Self-Determination

Self-determination or taking control of one’s life has been defined in a variety of ways. Field, Martin, Miller, Ward, and Wehmeyer (1998) offer this definition: Self-determination is a combination of skills, knowledge and beliefs that enable a person to engage in goal directed, self-regulated, autonomous behavior. An understanding of one’s strengths and limitations together with a belief in oneself as capable and effective are essential to self-determination. When acting on the basis of these skills and attitudes, individuals have greater ability to take control of their lives and assume the role of successful adults in our society.